Wed | Aug 23, 2017

MoBay Infant School march for peace

Published:Tuesday | March 8, 2016 | 3:00 AMOkoye Henry
Photo by Okoye Henry Students of the Montego Bay Infant School and their teachers, march along Corinaldi Avenue.

The teachers and students at the Corinaldi Avenue-based Montego Bay Infant School took to the streets of the western city last Tuesday to spread the message of peace as part of their 2016 Peace Day celebrations.

In a grand show of solidarity, the administration of the Montego Bay Infant School invited their neighbours, the Barracks Road Primary School, to join in the march, which covered areas such as Corinaldi Avenue, Hart Street, and Barracks Road.

As the students sang a variety of peace songs, the teachers, members of the St James Police Division, parents, and student cadets marched along both to support the effort as well as to ensure that the exercise was orderly and safe.

In the aftermath of the march, there was a special Peace Day event at the school, which was addressed by Darren Murphy, intern pastor for the Granville District of Seventh-Day Churches. In his address, Murphy urged the children and the other attendees to recognise the value of respect if the country is to move in the right direction.

"For us to ever have any form of peace in our homes, schools, and communities, we have to learn how to respect each other," said Murphy, drawing reference to the violence that has become a feature of life in St James.

The pastor also noted that effective communication, as opposed to resorting to violence, was key to conflict resolution.

"We have to love our enemies. If we live as a community, we have to learn to forgive our neighbours, our children, and our parents," said Murphy.

"For those who are on the other side, we have to learn to forgive the police, and the police will have to learn to forgive you for what you have done."

Constance Graham, the principal of the Montego Bay Infant School, told Western Focus that having Barracks Road Primary marching alongside them was done to signify the unity that the two schools shared.

"Hopefully, the message will resonate with the children and people as they help make Jamaica great," said Graham.